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Mineral deficiencies are associated with on-farm metabolic diseases that can cause loss of production, herd inefficiency or even cow death if not treated promptly.
These include milk fever and magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesia). However, even Trace minerals which are needed in small amounts by the cow can cause production and herd health issues. Meeting the vitamin and mineral requirements of a highproducing dairy herd is a balancing act between mineral inputs via feed and water, the body reserves of the cow and the outputs, such as losses in urine and faeces as well as the unavoidable losses through milk or growth.
Cows receive minerals via pasture, water and supplementary feed (e.g. dairy pellets, palm kernel or grain). It is important to be aware that minerals in feed can vary in quantity and quality as well as containing other minerals that can interact and affect absorption. In particular, mineral levels in pasture often may not meet the demands of the high-producing dairy herd and grains also have low levels of minerals.
A short term imbalance means that cows mobilise body reserves, if they have stores of the limiting mineral, and are able to mobilise enough but a longer term imbalance can lead to mineral deficiencies. Because individual cows have different feed intakes and body stores, this can result in a portion of the herd showing acute symptoms of deficiency however it will mostly manifest itself in sub-clinical symptoms such as reduced growth rates or milk production. It is these sub-clinical issues that can be the most costly as often it goes undiagnosed and untreated so means the herd is not performing at its optimum.
Producers are aware they need to provide minerals to their herd to maintain production but often it is done through dusting or water so they may not have an accurate understanding of the amount of minerals the herd is taking in – especially in wet weather or if it’s windy during dusting. Reliance Mineral Pellets are an easy way to provide essential vitamins and minerals to the herd as they can be mixed with grain or added in the mixer wagon. This reduces the need for dusting and also assures the producer the minerals are going down the cow’s throat and there is less wastage.
Reliance Mineral Pellets contain vitamins (A, D and E), minerals (calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, cobalt, iodine and selenium) and bovatec. There is also the option of adding biotin at high or low doses if lameness is an issue.
The mineral pellets come in two combinations to be fed at either 100g per head, per day or 200g per head, per day. The 100g/head/ day mineral pellet does not contain any added calcium so is suitable to feed to both the dry cows who have low requirements for calcium and to the springer herd where added calcium in the diet can cause milk fever issues. The 200g/head/ day contains both calcium and magnesium as well as trace minerals and vitamins so is ideally suited for the milkers. It is important that the mineral pellets are mixed well in the grain to ensure the correct dose rate is achieved.
For further information about how Reliance Mineral Pellets can enhance your cow’s performance, speak to your feed specialist or technical field officer.
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